|Dr. Delaney Ruston works in video production to give a voice to underappreciated medical issues. Recently, she led a campaign to raise awareness about severe mental illness; at the center of the campaign was her PBS award-winning documentary, Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, a personal profile of her reconnection with her father, who was afflicted with schizophrenia. Currently, Ruston is completing a feature documentary on global mental health, entitled “Where in the World”.
Dr. Ruston has a B.A. in government (with a focus on South East Asia) from Cornell University, New York and her M.D. from Stanford University, California. She completed a Primary Care Medicine Residency at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and subsequently completed a fellowship in Doctor-Patient Communication in UCSF’s Department of Medical Ethics. In 2005 Delaney stepped down from a faculty position at the University of Washington to focus her medical practice on providing medical care to the underserved and to devote more time to filmmaking.
Dr. Ruston’s Fulbright project, “Promoting Discourse on Innovative Mental Health Services in India Using Documentary Films,” will explore the work of non-specialist health workers in mental health (NSHWs), who are being provided mental health training by the Indian government to address the country’s scarcity of mental health providers. In collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India, Dr. Ruston will create short films that explore the work of NSHWs. The films will be innovative tools that qualitatively investigate key components of NSHWs programs, raise awareness about NSHWs and spark dialogue about how to maximize the impact NSHWs both in India and globally.